At church on Sunday, the pastor spoke about Romans 8:18, which says, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." I love Romans 8, but this verse hit me in a new way. The pastor talked about how the hard things in our lives are disproportionate to what God has in store. He gave an example, saying, "If I take my daughter to the doctor, she will ask me if she has to have a shot. When she does, I say yes. She asks me if it will hurt, and I tell her that it will. But, I tell her, it will not hurt long and if she is brave and trusts me, when it is over, I will buy her an ice cream cone. Those things are proportionate, a shot and an ice cream cone. Now, what if I told her that if she is brave and trusts me, then I will buy her the entire Breyer's company so that she is a millionaire at the age of ten and able to eat ice cream whenever she wants? That is entirely disproportionate to a shot. Yet that is what God promises us."
I absolutely love that. God's glory, His love for us, His plan and His home for us is entirely out of league with the things we go through here on earth (things that, I should add, are the result of our own sinful choices). Without a doubt, I deserve the struggles I have here on earth plus a whole lot more. Yet God is extravagant. His love for me is beyond my comprehension, and He looks at me and says, "Trust me. Love me. I have something so much better for you than you can even imagine. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world! Your present sufferings are hard, but they are not worth comparing to the glory that I will reveal in you." God says that to me.
I have been thinking lately about my time in Hungary last summer. I learned a lot about relying on God in every moment for everything. Back in the states, things are easier. I am self-sufficient here. If I have a problem, I know what the answer is. I don't rely on God in the same way, which I hate. And that is, I think, part of the reason why God still has me here, because if I do not know how to be totally dependent and reliant on Him here, then what is my faith? It is easy to rely on Him when life is hard, not just the struggles but when you literally don't know what to do in a situation because you don't know the language or how to drive a stick or what the custom is there, etc. I think back on the struggles that I had last summer, and they were so big but they were so good. I saw God at work in every moment. And here at school, my struggles are with other people or doing my work or handling stupid little issues that don't really matter. I can see clearly when I step back that these struggles are not worth comparing to "real" struggles, much less the future glory that awaits me!
But as Mama says, my real is my real. My current struggles are not "less" than ones I had last summer. They are different, yes, and it is good to be given some perspective. But these struggles are still my struggles. God still calls me to run to Him with them. He still calls me to trust Him first, even when I am "home," in a place where I know the answers to so many problems. As a servant of God, I comment myself inevery way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses (of any kind)...in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine yet regarded as an impostor; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying and yet I live on; beaten yet not killed; sorrowful yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing yet possessing everything. I have truly found something of greater value than my dreams for myself, than my own ideas of what is good, than my struggles of every kind.
In this world I will have trouble, but I take heart, because He has overcome the world. My present struggles are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in me.
Aftershocks and new beginnings?
2 weeks ago